“Trainer save” added to Biggest Loser; cast includes 462-pound Ruben Studdard

American Idol 2 winner Ruben Studdard will be on the 15th season of The Biggest Loser this fall; the 462-pound singer will be “the show’s first celebrity player,” according to NBC, and he’s also the season’s biggest person. The 15-person cast also includes Olympic weightlifter Holley Mangold.

Also a first: the trainers helped cast the show, and will each be allowed to save one contestant during the season–kind of like Tim Gunn’s new power on Project Runway. That continues a trend of reality competitions giving people second chances, which perhaps not coincidentally is this season’s theme.

In a preview video, linked in the playlist below, Jillian says, “This game is fundamentally unfair, because it is a game.” She says the save is “the great equalizer” because the contestants “want to be worth saving” so they will work harder and rely less on alliances.

The Quest ends its journey stronger than it began

Verlox from The Quest

A review of the finale of summer's best reality series, which wasn't always perfect but was thoroughly entertaining right down to the finish, which included phenomenal challenges and special effects. Will ABC give it a second season?

Plus: an interview with the actor who played Verlox and the ogre.


Shark Tank is getting a spin-off

Shark Tank

Companies that get deals on the show will be followed for this new spin-off.

Also: Before the show began, Shark Barbara Corcoran was cast and then replaced--but then she sent this amazing e-mail and won the job.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.